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African economies are among the fastest-growing in the world. Today, the continent is poised to transform the global economic landscape.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s annual GDP growth averaged 5.7% between 2000 and 2010.

Annual growth is expected to average 7% over the next 20 years.

Africa accounts for 14% of the world’s population.

A new middle class is emerging in Africa, signaling new growth opportunities for several key industries. Primary among them is mobile communications—a necessity to Africa’s expanding economy, and an increasingly critical part of daily life.

Nearly 90% of all phones in Africa are mobile phones.

By the end of 2012, there will be 735 million mobile subscribers in Africa.

Across Africa, mobile technology is becoming a cornerstone for industries like healthcare and agriculture. For millions of people, it is making banking truly accessible for the first time.

Close to 18 million Kenyans use mobile phones as a bank account, depositing and transferring money remotely to avoid excessive travel and wait times.

Total African mobile money transfers are expected to exceed $200 billion in 2015, accounting for approximately 18% of the continent’s GDP.

Bharti Airtel is working with IBM to deliver next-generation mobile phone service across 16 African countries, from Ghana to Tanzania— offering not just a voice and data network, but a world-class platform for digital services.

The elements of a smarter mobile infrastructure can include:

  1. Services Providing basic voice and data services, including voicemail and text messaging.
  2. Applications and Content Delivering sophisticated web-based services, from banking capabilities to video and news.
  3. Network Management Applying advanced analytics to manage the flow of data and help prevent outages.
  4. Customer Support Powering the management, measurement, monitoring and billing of all customer interactions.
  5. Authentication Verifying the identity of users and preventing subscriber fraud.

They will support the growing needs of Africa’s “power users.”

Monthly, a typical mobile user with a feature phone averages:

  • 120 voice minutes
  • 60 text messages
  • 10 megabytes of data
  • 1 transaction

Monthly, a sophisticated mobile user with a smartphone averages:

  • 1000 voice minutes
  • 300 text messages
  • 1000 megabytes of data
  • 20 transactions

Bharti’s mobile network is helping to fuel growth on the continent of Africa—equipping citizens with the tools they need to improve their lives in ways never before possible.

  • Improving communication capabilities for people without computers or Internet access.
  • Empowering farmers and business owners with real-time information.
  • Making banking services more accessible to more people.
  • Connecting people to health information, products and services.